GLEN DALE - For the first four minutes Saturday afternoon, John Marshall's girls' basketball team looked like one playing its opening game of the season with two freshmen in the starting lineup.
For the remaining 28 minutes Coach Mark McCormick's squad looked like a team with two very special freshmen in the starting lineup that could be ready to make some noise both locally and around the state when all is said and done.
Freshmen Tori Derrow and Bailey Filben combined for 37 points and 18 rebounds while senior standout Kylie Howard provided her usual solid game filled with plenty of hustle, scoring 18 points and grabbing eight rebounds as the Monarchs played well in just about every phase of the game in rolling to a 73-34 rout of visiting East Fairmont.
In all, the Monarchs had four double-figure scorers, three players with double-digits in rebounds and a pair that recorded opening game double-doubles. It was also a game that could be either a statisticians dream, or nightmare, however you want to look at it.
With John Marshall controlling the boards to a tune of 61-23, leading to continuous trips of two, three and even four shots, the hosts were able to throw up 92 field-goal attempts. McCormick's crew had as many rebounds in the first quarter (23) as the Bees did the entire game.
However, things did not start well with the two teams combining for eight turnovers, six points (3-3) and a 1 of 15 showing from the floor in the opening four minutes of play. That is when Derrow took over, hitting four hoops as the Monarchs opened up a 17-8 lead after one.
''The girls said at the half that nerves and jitters played a big part in that opening four minutes,'' McCormick said with a smile. ''I know we sure didn't get into the flow of the game as quickly as I would have liked.''
Then it became the other freshman's turn as Filben scored all 13 of the Monarchs' points during a second quarter-opening 13-2 blitz that made it a 30-10 count. Filben, who picked up two quick fouls and did not score, or even play much in the first quarter.
With the score 41-19 at the break, Derrow returned to the court and dropped in John Marshall's next three buckets, and four of five to push the score to 53-19 midway through the third quarter. With the game in hand, the fourth quarter belonged to Howard, who tallied half of her 18 points in the final eight minutes.
''Tori and Bailey have done a great job coming into the program, but give my three seniors (Howard, Kristin Lewicki and Morgan Watson) a lot of credit, they have really put them under their wings and taken care of them which has allowed those two to pick up the system quickly."
Derrow finished with a double-double in her first high school start, scoring 20 points and pulling down 10 rebounds while Filben had 17 points and added eight boards. Emily Winters came off the bench to tally 11 points and add just as many rebounds while junior Sissy George hustled her way to collect 10 missed shots.
Brooklyn Weaver paced East Fairmont with 16 points, however, the Bees committed more turnovers (38) than they scored points in the contest.